There are a number of Australian Standards detailing accessibility requirements and recommendations for the built environment available for reference when developing accessible building design solutions. These are discussed on this website.
Accessibility Australian Standards
AS 1428.1 prescribes the minimum design requirements for people aged 18 to 60 years in new building work and is referenced in the BCA and Premises Standards. Compliance with AS 1428.1 will to enable access for people with disabilities to and within a building. It covers such design areas as signage, floor surfaces, walkways, ramps, stairs, landings, handrails, doors, seating, toilets and showers.
AS 1428.2 sets out enhanced accessible features to be considered for the design of buildings and facilities for access for people with disabilities. These are additional to the minimum requirements of AS 1428.1. Common sections considered during access audits include furniture, post boxes, telephones, controls, signage and displays. Also referenced in DSAPT and BCA H2.
AS 1428.3 sets out requirements for facilities specifically intended for use by children and adolescents with physical disabilities. Details on four age ranges (from 3 to 18 years of age) and disability groups are provided. AS 1428.3 is now obsolete, but may be considered when developing best-practice or performance-based solutions considering the specific needs of occupants based on their age.
AS/NZS 1428.4.1 prescribes minimum requirements for Tactile Ground Surface Indicators (TGSIs) in new buildings and is referenced in the BCA and Premises Standards. It provides guidance to ensure safe and dignified mobility of people who are blind or vision impaired. Topics include warning and directional TGSIs, luminance contrast, size, location etc. Information on installation of TGSIs is provided in the Appendices.
DR AS 1428.4.2 is a draft wayfinding standard which will be referenced in BCA 2019. It covers such areas as site identification, wayfinding, shorelining, textural surfaces and contrast edges on paths, signage for information points, decision points, building directories and at destinations.
AS 1428.5 sets out requirements for the design, application and testing of assistive listening systems (ALSs). It provides information to enable access to communication for people who have a hearing impairment or who are deaf. Whilst the BCA and Premises do not reference AS 1428.5, it is a source of reference on design, installation, operation and maintenance of ALS, communication and warning systems.
AS 1735.12 sets out requirements for passenger lifts which are specifically designed to assist persons with disabilities. It is important to note that the BCA and Premises Standards references only specific parts of AS 1735.12 relating to lift car sizes, doors, passenger protection systems, control buttons, handrails, audible and visual information, and emergency communication.
AS 2890.5 specifies requirements for the location, arrangement and dimensions of on-street parking facilities. Includes provision for accessible car parking spaces in varying configurations. The BCA and Premises do not reference AS 2890.5. Due to community expectations we strongly recommend compliance with AS/NZS 2890.6 where possible (as AS 2890.5 has smaller sizes of spaces).
AS/NZS 2890.6 prescribes the requires for the provision of off-street parking facilities for people with disabilities during new building works and is referenced in the BCA and Premises Standards. Designs for parallel and angled accessible spaces are detailed, with a shared area to the side, kerb ramp locations, height clearances, yellow line marking, International Symbol of Access and bollard in shared area.
AS 3745 applies to buildings, structures or workplaces occupied by people. It is not referenced in the BCA and Premises, but is applicable under health and safety legislation. AS 3745 considers people with disability and says that evacuation arrangements for PWD shall be considered including all occupants and visitors, who may for any reason, require assistance during an emergency.
AS 4299 presents the objectives and principles of adaptable housing. It provides guidelines on adaptable housing when designing, modifying or building new dwellings. Whilst it is not referenced in the BCA or the Premises Standards, AS 4299 is often referenced in Town Planning approvals, which often see a percentage of apartments requiring the ability to be adaptable for future conversion for occupants with additional mobility needs.
AS 4586 sets out a means of classifying pedestrian surfaces according to their frictional characteristics. Whilst the BCA and Premises Standards do not prescribe a slip-resistance rating to all surfaces (other than ramps, stairs and landings), AS 1428.1 does require a slip-resistance surface on accessible paths. In conjunction with HB 198, AS 4586 is a source of reference to determine appropriate ratings for all locations.